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How to Sell a Haunted House

When Louise found out she was pregnant, she worried about telling her parents. She was 34 and unmarried and lived across the country from her family, but she called and blurted it out and then her parents immediately came to visit. Louise didn't move across the country and stay to be away from her parents and her brother, Mark. She went to college and got a job. Louise hoped that once she had a child, she and her mother would get along again. They would share something that only they could and her lousy brother couldn't get in the middle of it. Her mother would make a great grandmother. She was fun and had a puppet ministry and was always *ON.* Louise and her daughter had five years with Louise's mother.

Poppy insists on reading the book Granny sent her in the mail, The Velveteen Rabbit. Louise absolutely hates that book, about how inanimate objects can come to life, but her mother insisted it was her favorite and read it to her every single night when she was a kid. As Louise is trying to convince Poppy to read a library book instead, Mark calls and tells Louise that their parents died in a car accident. Surely he's drunk and mistaken. Louise calls her Great Aunt Honey to confirm and finds out it's true, then she calls her parents' answering machine, hoping they'll call her back.

Louise tells Poppy pretty bluntly that her grandparents are dead and leaves her with Ian, Poppy's dad, while she flies across the country to take care of her parents' things and have a funeral. She hasn't heard from Mark since he told her about the accident, which is annoying, but not surprising. After checking into her hotel, Louise goes to her old house. Before it was her parents' house, it was her grandparents', and now it looks more worn down than she was expecting. As she goes inside through the garage and into the kitchen, she hears someone speaking inside. Is it Mark? No. It's the TV. And all the dolls inside are watching it.

Louise turns the TV off and looks around the house. She sees a hammer in the living room and her dad's cane propped against the wall. That doesn't make any sense. He wouldn't have left the house without the cane and the hammer is just weird. As she continues to explore, walking past all her mother's dolls, including the Mark and Louise dolls who appear to be holding the TV remote in her father's chair, she notices that the way into the attic is boarded up. How did things get so bad in the house? Were there raccoons or squirrels or something? And not the taxidermied ones her mother made? As Louise continues to explore, the TV comes back on in the living room.

Nope! After turning the TV off again... and then again... Louise panics, but not so the dolls can see, unplugs the TV, and then decides to take the Mark and Louise dolls out to the garage. She shoves them on a shelf, but then they start vibrating... Louise hears a truck pull up outside and goes out to investigate. A cleaning company has arrived, called by Mark who also shows up, to clear everything out of the house. Louise is pissed about this, and the fact that Mark has apparently had their parents cremated, even though they have burial plots already, and that he seems to just want to clear out the house as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Louise sends the cleaners away and then heads to Great Aunt Honey's house.

At Aunt Honey's, Louise and her Aunt Gail and cousins Mercy and Constance talk about maybe selling Louise's family home and then bitch about Mark being a dick. Aunt Honey gets mad and calls him and makes him come over. She tells him they're having a funeral in a church and a reception afterward like a normal family, and again, he's kind of a dick, but then Louise tells him he should plan the service. He did spend way more time with their parents than she did, after all. After declining the pity task, he changes his mind and agrees and Louise decides to leave. Her cousin follows her out and they talk about selling the house some more and about how weird her family is. They're not weird!

Okay, so maybe they're a little weird. Louise's dad was pretty normal, but her mom was a puppet minister and had so many dolls and puppets all over their house. She was always *ON* and performing and the center of attention, but she had to be. When Louise's mom was little, her brother Freddie died and her mother got rid of all his stuff and pretended that he didn't exist anymore, then she was shipped to any relative that would have her. She was always the guest of honor and that stuck with her and she remained a star. That might be a little weird, but the house full of dolls and puppets is definitely very weird. What's weirder is that the TV is on again.

Louise decided to go back by the house before going to her hotel and sees through the window that the TV is on again. She has to break in this time to turn it off because Mark must have locked all the doors, the jerk. This time, Louise sees Pupkin sitting in her father's chair with the TV remote. Louise hates Pupkin and she knows he hates her and Mark, too. Pupkin had been with Louise's mom since she was a kid and she clearly loved that puppet more than anything or anyone else. Mark must have done this because he knows how much Pupkin bothers Louise. She bags Pupkin up and puts him in the trash can in the garage while all the rest of the dolls, including the Mark and Louise ones, watch. Louise goes back to her hotel and calls Poppy and Ian, but Poppy is still pretty sad and messed up about the way Louise explained death to her. That's not going to be good.

The funeral Mark planned is actually pretty perfect for their parents. Everyone attends wearing puppets and fascinators and spinning bow ties and bright colors. Instead of singing hymns, they play kazoos, and everyone tells stories about and with puppets. Mark ends the "fun"eral by singing The Rainbow Connection. This makes Louise remember their childhood. They didn't have much money and their mom only had Pupkin to entertain them. One day, she used Pupkin to tell bible stories at church, then she became the children's minister and then people started hiring her to perform with Pupkin, so she made other puppets and became puppet ministry famous. And now she's had the most outrageous funeral ever and it was perfect, except for the fact that Louise didn't say anything for or about her parents at all.

At the reception afterward, everyone tells Louise how fun her mother was and how smart her father was and she just sits and listens. Ian texts that Poppy is regressing and wet the bed and that his mom knows a child psychologist, but Louise doesn't think that's necessary. As she's about to respond, Constance tells her that Mark is hounding Brody, her husband, the lawyer, about going over their parents' wills. Oh great. Louise knows that her father left everything to her, so Mark is going to be pissed, but it turns out that their mother left everything to Mark and, technically, she died after their father, so her will stands. Mark does an actual dance and starts talking about money, completely leaving Louise out of everything. She was going to split everything with him, but he's not going to do that at all. Louise leaves, upset, but not before Brody gives her an envelope from her mother.

The letter inside explains that Louise can get by on her own, she always has, but that Mark, well, can't, so he gets everything except for her art collection. Mark couldn't do anything well, except for perform, but he even messed that up. When Louise graduated high school early and went to college on scholarship, he got mad. He couldn't get a scholarship and pouted until their dad paid for him to go, only for him to drop out. Louise is furious because her brother is so pathetic, but now she has something he doesn't, this weird fucking art collection, and she's going to use it.

Louise plans to take so long going through all their mom's old art that Mark will get pissed and decide to give her half of everything just so she'll leave. He figures this out and doubles down in his stubbornness, and so Louise digs in, too. They're both so petty. As Louise begins to look through the artwork in the garage and toss stuff, like the terrifying beyond all reason squirrel nativity, she notices that Pupkin isn't in the trash can anymore. Mark probably found him and is going to use him to play a prank later. Yeah. That's it...

Louise goes through the house and into her parents' bedroom. She suddenly gets so sad thinking about them and all her mother's puppets and dolls that she lies on the bed to rest. When she wakes, so cozy and warm, she looks at the foot of the bed to see ... a squirrel from the nativity scene looking at her with its stitched up eyes. She feels the snuggly pillow around her neck and realizes it's... a squirrel from the nativity scene. Squirrel Mary and Squirrel Joseph, and Squirrel Baby Jesus running around somewhere too. And then they attack. One of the squirrels burrows into her shirt and starts making its way down her pants. She yanks it out and stomps it, then bashes the others with a badminton racquet.

Louise goes to her bedroom after this freak attack and grabs the only things she wants to keep from the house, her old stuffed animal friends. She's going to give in and let Mark do whatever he wants. As she heads out to her car, Mark tells her she can't have the toys because they belong to him. She puts them back inside and stops by the trash can again. The squirrel nativity is in there, just like before. It must have been real squirrels that attacked her and that must be why the attic is boarded up. Squirrel Mary's skull definitely looks smashed in though...

Louise leaves. At the hotel, she takes a shower and a nap. When she wakes, she sees she's had a ton of missed calls and texts from Ian, Mercy, Brody and Mark. She calls Ian and asks to speak to Poppy and tells her daughter she's coming home the next day, but then there's a bang on her window. Mark is outside. He tells her he'll split the house with her but she's got to help him do all the important business stuff. Apparently he called Mercy, who is a real estate agent, and Brody and they said they wouldn't help him sell the house unless he split it with Louise. She calls Ian back and says that plans have changed and she is going to stay another week, just like she originally planned.

At the house the next day, Louise and Mark start cleaning, preparing for Mercy to come and appraise it for sale. Mark flips about throwing all the dolls and puppets away and Louise flips at being surrounded by them. They decide to cover up the Mark and Louise dolls with a blanket because they're creepy and then bag up the rest and put them in the garage, but then they don't want to go back inside because they're both creeped out. Louise decides to clean the kitchen, mostly because there aren't any dolls in there, but wait. Is that one... down the sink drain? She reaches inside to get the doll out and as she does, the garbage disposal comes on. Fucking yikes.

So it was just Mark turning the power back on, but still. Fucking yikes. Mercy arrives later that afternoon and she and Louise walk through the house while Mark stays outside, fixing the window Louise broke earlier to get inside and/or he's hiding outside because he's scared of being inside because we all know something creepy is going on with the puppets and dolls. Speaking of, the Mark and Louise dolls are no longer under the blanket that they were under earlier. Instead, Mercy and Louise find them standing in the master bathroom staring at them. No thank you. As they walk through the house, they hear footsteps above them in the attic and then hear knocking coming from the bathroom vanity. Well, Mercy hears knocking. Louise also hears a tiny voice saying *let me out.* Nope!

Mercy says the house still needs a lot of work but they'll definitely be able to sell it. The giant backyard is nice even though there's an unfinished deck back there, and they will definitely need to figure out what's going on in the attic and with the vanity. Mercy decides she's not going to be the one to sell it for them because the house has some seriously bad vibes and she definitely noticed how Louise reacted to the creepy fucking dolls. She says they need to have the house cleansed or blessed because it's obviously haunted or something and she knows just the person to do it. Her mom! She's super churchy and has done this before, lots of times. Mark hopes to see their parents again, but all Louise wants is to go back home to her daughter.

After Mercy leaves, Louise and Mark fight about the house being haunted, the house being haunted by their parents, selling the house and not selling the house. Mark doesn't want to sell anymore because he believes their parents' spirits are still there and he doesn't want to banish them. Louise doesn't believe the house is haunted, by their parents or anyone else (yes, yes she does, stupid scary dolls), and she wants to sell so she'll have money for Poppy's future. She convinces Mark to have their favorite traditional dinner of Pizza Chinese and to politely ask their parents to depart from this plane of existence. After their meal and a little bit more fighting and Louise not being able to talk to Poppy because she's regressing and wetting the bed and disappointed because Louise lied to her, Mark finally asks Louise a very important question. Why did you try to kill me when we were kids? She didn't. Pupkin did. But can she say that out loud?

When Louise and Mark were little, Mark just a toddler, they were inseparable, but soon Louise began to play with Pupkin and Pupkin didn't like Mark very much. Pupkin told Louise to push Mark down or do other mean things to him. He already made her be mean to her other stuffed animal friends and now Mark is here and Pupkin doesn't like him. One day, around Christmastime, their family went to a neighbor's house. They got lovely presents and then, they showed Louise and Mark the backyard which had been transformed into a winter wonderland. Louise, Pupkin and Mark went out to explore, but Pupkin knew there was a pond farther into the backyard. Pupkin told Louise to trick Mark into playing Olympic ice skater, and she did. She convinced her brother to step out onto the ice and he fell into the icy pond below while Louise and Pupkin went back inside for hot chocolate. Luckily for Mark, everyone realized he was missing almost immediately so he was rescued and fine and forgot all about it until he was 14. Louise buried Pupkin in the backyard after that. Pupkin never forgot either of those events.

Louise denies Mark's entire story even though she definitely knows it's true, deep down, but how? How could a puppet make her do those things?! Mark is pretty pissed that Louise is still denying trying to murder him, so he stomps off to the bathroom, then screams. Louise comes running to find the Mark and Louise dolls standing in the bathroom with a note scrawled in lipstick on the mirror: MARK KOM HOM. Louise definitely thinks Mark wrote that message himself. They argue some more and Mark says he's leaving because he doesn't want to spend the night in a haunted house and says Louise shouldn't either. Louise decides to stay. Mark was right.

Louise has a terrible nightmare involving Poppy wearing Pupkin and all their food turning into maggots and worms and when she wakes up, she realizes the door to her room is open even though she DEFINITELY remembers closing it. She reaches for her phone and something grabs her. It's Pupkin! no no no no! She buried Pupkin when she was a kid, but here he is now, full of hatred. She flings him across the room and then he *climbs up the bed.* Louise runs and falls over a chair that Pupkin left out to trip her. Then he's on her, climbing up to her face with a needle in his hand and stabs it into her eye. She flails and pulls the needle out, then runs from Pupkin and hides in the closet. Pupkin thuds into the door shortly after she closes it and then there are gunshots. Louise opens the closet to see puffs of Pupkin fluff falling to the ground and Mark holding a gun.

Louise rushes outside and to Mark's truck, and he jumps in and starts it up. Louise wants to go to the hospital but as they drive, she makes Mark pull over so she can vomit up her Pizza Chinese. They pause for a moment and Mark looks at her eye. It's only a little bloody and he says people get injections in their eyes all the time so she'll probably be fine. She *can* still see, so that's good. Mark decides that instead of going to the hospital, they're going to Waffle House.

While there, Louise nearly has a breakdown, which is understandable, but she believes she's inherited a mental illness from her mother that is making her believe Pupkin is real. Mark disagrees because that fucking puppet stabbed his sister in the eyeball and was trying to break down the closet door and he shot it with a gun. Louise believes it's a shared psychosis then. No. It's The Velveteen Rabbit. Their mother put so much love and attention into Pupkin, and the other dolls, too, that they became real and now she's dead so who's going to tell Pupkin and the others that they're not real anymore and are they going to believe it? Nope. Not a chance. Louise still struggles with this, so Mark decides to tell her why he dropped out of college. It's because he joined a Radical Puppet Collective.

Shortly after starting school for theatre, Mark found a group of puppeteers who did a really weird street performance and fell in love. He joined them immediately and decided that he wanted to be a street performer and not finish school, so he stopped going to classes and spent all his time with Clark, Sadie and Richard. Things get real weird real quick with this group and when Mark asks his mom to ship Pupkin to him, things get worse.

Clark puts Pupkin on and never takes him off, then they decide to make Pupkin masks and they all wear them all the time. They start waking up covered in shit and eating pets and all kinds of terrible things. When Mark realizes they're eating dogs and cats, he manages to escape and sets the house where they were all staying on fire regardless of the fact that his friends are still inside. He hitchhikes to a bus station and gets a ride back to campus. After a few days of not leaving his dorm room, his mom shows up, but she won't take them home without Pupkin. They drive to Clark's house and Mark asks him for Pupkin back. He also asks about their friends. Clark drops Pupkin on the porch without saying a word and turns away.

After this story, Louise feels completely differently about Mark. She always thought he was a dropout screwup, but no, he was traumatized by the same fucking puppet that traumatized her when she was as kid. But then they realize that their mother knew about Pupkin and she gave him to them and didn't do or say anything when obviously Pupkin was doing terrible things. After that realization comes another... When their dad injured his leg catching a frisbee and their mom had to start taking care of him, she stopped paying attention to Pupkin. Their mom had had Pupkin for nearly her entire life and all of a sudden she is caring for someone else instead of Pupkin, so what does he do? Attacks their dad with a hammer. Their mom must have freaked out big time when that happened which probably caused the car accident they had. Their parents are dead because of Pupkin.

Louise and Mark bond a little after this and then decide what to do with the house. They want to just burn it and all the dolls and puppets and the shot-to-hell Pupkin, but Louise said Mercy said it would sell easily to a family. They're going to have to go back inside. Pupkin isn't where they left him. They follow a trail of tatters to find Pupkin in the attic in a little bedroom their mother must have made for him. That must be why it was boarded up. As they're planning to B-U-R-N P-U-P-K on the G-R-I-L-L, Mark breaks down. He says he doesn't want to put Pupkin on because he'll hurt Louise. And then he gets even worse. He says Spider is there. Spider is Mark's imaginary dog he had when they were kids. And he's pretty upset that Mark forgot all about him. He attacks.

Louise runs from Spider and falls down the attic stairs, but he latches on to her ankle and drags her down the hall. She tries to kick herself free, but then Spider lets her go and whimpers. Mark appears wearing Pupkin on his hand. Pupkin begins to sing and laugh and play while Mark follows along like a zombie. Then Pupkin picks up a hammer and bashes Louise's skull.

Pupkin terrorizes Louise with the hammer, hitting her in the face and the kidneys, and then Mark comes to a little and decides they should cut off his hand with a saw. After the gruesome sawing, they throw Pupkin in the trash and head to the hospital. After lots of explaining to police and paramedics and doctors and nurses and lots of lies, Mark is out of surgery. Louise asks why he put on Pupkin and he says he did because Pupkin was going to let Spider eat her if he didn't. Then he sends her home to burn Pupkin. She lights up the grill, grabs Pupkin from the trash with some tongs and tosses him on. He screams inside her head, screams for her mother to save him, but then his screams die out, and afterward, the house feels empty inside.

Louise goes back to the hospital to get Mark and he expects her to apologize for cutting off his hand and is very shitty about the whole thing, but, well, he lost his hand so it's to be expected. They go home and Mark falls into a depression. They decide not to sell the house right now, which Mercy and Constance find questionable, just like Louise's "I fell off the shelves that fell on me and distracted Mark so he cut off his hand" story that they've concocted. Whatever. Louise doesn't care about anything anymore, only that Pupkin is gone and she can go home to Poppy. When she finally gets back to her apartment, she passes Ian and is greeted by a high-pitched, sing-song voice coming from the Pupkin puppet on Poppy's arm.

Louise freaks, pees her pants and tries to rip Pupkin off Poppy's arm. Louise explains to Ian that she didn't want Poppy to know that puppet of her mother's because Mark had it when he was as kid and it made him do terrible things (also, you know, she had it and tried to kill Mark... and also the arm saw hammer face thing... but we don't mention that right now), but apparently Poppy had a clear vision when making this puppet with his mother. Louise knows she has to get rid of it, no matter what. Ian stops Louise but she is determined to not let Pupkin stay. After Ian leaves, Louise plans to throw the puppet into her blender and destroy it. She sneaks into a sleeping Poppy's bedroom, but as Louise approaches the puppet, it waves at her, so she sneaks back out, determined to come up with another plan.

The next morning, Louise wakes to the smoke alarm going off and finds Pupkin and Poppy in the kitchen making a huge fiery mess. Louise yanks Pupkin off Poppy's hand but then Poppy bites Louise so hard that she drops Pupkin and Poppy quickly retrieves him. What is Louise going to do? She decides to call Mark for help and explains what's going on, but he says he needs time to think. After Poppy screams for hours and then later Louise finds Pupkin stabbing Poppy in the arm with a knife, she calls Mark again. Mark suggests they come back home and go see their Aunt Gail. Mercy did say she had experience with cleansing houses of demons...

Louise tries again to get Pupkin off Poppy, but when he stares terrifyingly at her while Poppy sleeps, Louise gets an idea. She talks to him. Louise asks Pupkin who he is, what he is, what he wants... He wants Nancy, Louise and Mark's mother. He doesn't understand when Louise tells Pupkin she's dead and she doesn't dare tell him she's dead because of him. She tries again and says that Nancy is gone and now he needs to be gone, too. Nope, that doesn't work.

Louise, Pupkin and Poppy get on a plane after Louise explains to Pupkin that they're going to see Nancy. Pupkin is only slightly less than horrifying on the flight but they finally arrive at the airport and Mark picks them up. He's not so great at driving one-handed and with Pupkin being a menace, the drive is awful. Instead of going to see Aunt Gail, Mark tells Louise that they have to go to the hospital to see Aunt Honey but Aunt Gail will probably be there too. Great Aunt Honey is Aunt Gail's mom, after all.

Aunt Honey is asleep when they get to the hospital so Louise speaks with Aunt Gail while Mark watches Pupkin and Poppy. The whole you-won't-get-to-see-Nancy thing seems to be working on Pupkin... for now. Louise tells Aunt Gail literally everything about Pupkin and says that her parents' house is haunted and she needs help. Aunt Gail doesn't even blink. She just makes a plan to send the demons back to hell where they belong. She says they have to go see her friend and fellow demon slayer, Barb. Mercy, Constance, Mark, Poppy, Pupkin and Aunt Gail head off.

Barb's home is full of tons of creepy dolls, but she assures everyone that she keeps the cursed ones in a locked storage unit and that these ones are just fine. She tells Louise that Pupkin isn't possessed by a demon because demons can't possess inanimate objects, but that he is cursed. They plan to break the curse on Pupkin, find out which demon placed the curse, and then they'll banish him. Gail begins the arduous process of figuring out who the demon is... Beelzebub? Leviathan? Suddenly dolls start toppling to the floor. Belphegor? Moloch? Andras? More dolls topple and pelt the group as she tries to name the demon, but then Barb takes over.

Barb gives Pupkin chocolate and asks him questions about why he would hurt Nancy and Nancy's husband and Mark and Louise. Well, it's all because Nancy stopped paying attention to him. Barb offers more chocolate and then asks Pupkin if he had a name before he was called Pupkin. He says his name was Freddie and that he's five years old. Freddie... That's Nancy's kid brother who died... when he was five. Pupkin isn't demon possessed... he's haunted! Louise immediately goes to see Aunt Honey in the hospital to find out what actually happened to Freddie when he died because she's the only person who is still alive who knows the truth of what happened.

The story is that Freddie stepped on a rusty nail at a hotel swimming pool, got lockjaw and died. But that's not the truth. After much arguing, Aunt Honey finally tells them how Freddie actually died. They were at a hotel swimming pool, that part was true. Nancy and Freddie's parents were inside and left seven-year-old Nancy to watch five-year-old Freddie. Instead of watching her brother, Nancy walked over to an ice cream parlor and while she was gone, Freddie drowned. Instead of telling Nancy that it's all her fault that Freddie died (not completely the truth, but whatever), they made up the story about the nail. Nancy's parents couldn't bear to see her anymore, so they shipped her off with her only tie to her brother, Pupkin, to other family members instead of loving her, their only remaining child. If that's not bad enough, rather than burying Freddie in their family plot at the cemetery, they buried him in the backyard of their house. The house that became Nancy's house. The house that Mark and Louise are now trying to sell. Freddie's house. Pupkin's house. Now that's where they have to go.

On the drive to the house, Mark quietly lets Louise know that Spider is in the bed of the truck. That's worrisome, but then Pupkin tries to throw Poppy from the moving vehicle. Somehow Louise is able to catch her... the first time... As Louise holds her daughter, she and Mark try to figure out where Freddie could be buried in their giant backyard. Mark gets frustrated and then Louise thinks of asking Pupkin, and she's going to do that by playing Hot and Cold. Louise teaches Pupkin how to play and just as things seem to be going to plan, Pupkin throws Poppy from the driver's side door. Pupkin makes Poppy, who is little more than a zombie at this point, run into the middle of the road. Louise is able to catch up without getting hit by oncoming traffic and hold her daughter until Mark maneuvers over to them.

When they get to the house, Pupkin takes off down the dark hallway, and as Mark and Louise begin to look for him, he begins a demented game of Hot and Cold and all the dolls are back, staring at them. They find Pupkin and Louise tries to convince him that it's time for Freddie to go home now, to be with his mom and dad and sister, but Pupkin refuses, then a swarm of puppets attack. Louise and Mark manage to lock themselves in the bathroom, but it's the same bathroom with the Mark and Louise dolls... and they come for them. Mark and Louise panic, trying to figure out where Freddie could be buried, and then Mark remembers that every time Pupkin told stories of his imaginary home, he always mentioned a cypress tree, and there's a cypress tree in the backyard. Louise bashes the Louise doll through the bathroom window and climbs out, heading to the tree.

Louise grabs a shovel and digs around the bottom of the tree, but before she can make any progress, Mark comes out of the house, followed by all the puppets who have joined together in a giant puppet golem. Pupkin comes out of the house, too, and directs the golem to attack Louise. She tries to dig faster, but it's no use. The golem makes it to her. Then, all of the sudden, Mark whistles and Spider leaps at the golem, tearing puppets off left and right. Spider takes down the mass of puppets while Louise digs. Then she gets Spider to help. They dig until they find a trunk and Louise pulls it from the shallow grave, carrying it to Pupkin.

Louise opens the trunk to reveal the skeleton of a small boy, Freddie. She tells Pupkin, Freddie, that it is time for him to go home. Pupkin says he's scared, so Louise pulls Poppy and Pupkin into her lap, slides Pupkin off her daughter's hand and onto her own. Then, she's transported to Pupkin's magical world. She sees Freddie, a little boy in a red sweater, with Pupkin on his arm. She tells him it's time for him to go on another adventure to find his mom, dad and sister. It's time for him to go home. As he leaves, Louise tells Freddie to tell his sister, her mom, thank you for everything.

Some time passes and everything goes back to normal. They have a funeral for Freddie and Poppy plays like a normal kid with her cousins while everyone chats in the cemetery. Louise apologizes to Aunt Honey, who pretends she has no idea what Louise is talking about and promptly changes the subject. Mark comes over and tells Louise that they might have a buyer for the house, someone who doesn't care that there was a child corpse buried in the backyard. He takes Louise and Poppy to see the house and all the renovations he and Mercy did to it. It really doesn't seem like the house they grew up in at all. More time passes and sometimes Louise has dreams that her parents aren't dead and none of the terrible stuff with Pupkin happened at all, but then she remembers, and the only person she can call, the only person she can talk to who will understand, is her brother.

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